by Aik Theng Chong, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 23, 2011
Singapore -- There are two kind of annihilation, an empirical one called destruction and a transcendental one called evanescence or impermanence. The first is the annihilation said of a jar, which when drop, broke into pieces. The second refer to imperceptible gradual, constant deterioration over time of a jar, which is the very essence of reality of all things.
As Santiraksita has pointed out, reality itself is called annihilation as what is ultimately real has only the duration of a moment of existence. Its essence is impermanent, it is dynamic and indivisible. It cannot be divided such that non-existence should follow upon existence as its impermanent arises simultaneously with its production.
Transcendental ultimate reality is a never beginning and never stopping, infinitely graduated, constant change. There is nothing permanent, no static element in this process. An everlasting substantial Soul or matter is pure imagination. There is in every next moment not the slightest bit left of what has been existent in the former moment.
Every momentary thing is annihilated as soon as it appears, because it does not survive in the next moment as if it does, it would mean eternity because it would survive in the third and all the following moments. Static means eternal. If matter exist it necessarily is eternal, if it does not exist, being is necessarily instantaneous. The first view is advocated in the theist religion, the second in Buddhism.
Transcendental annihilation is not produced by occurring causes. Since existence itself is constant annihilation, it will go on existing, being annihilated and changing without needing in every case any cause of annihilation. The elements of existence are automatically evanescent and impermanence, they do not need any additional circumstance in order to produce that change which is going on always and by itself. Reality is characterized as efficiency it can also be characterized as evanescence or annihilation.